#102 “The Temptation of St. Antony” by Gustave Flaubert (#845 on The List)

by Michael Niewodowski

Gustave Flaubert’s The Temptation of St. Antony is a religious hallucination.  St. Antony of Egypt (cir. 251-356) was an ascetic monk that lived in the Libyan Desert; he is said to have experienced supernatural temptations. In Flaubert’s novel, the Seven Deadly Sins, the Greek gods, Lust, Death, demons, heretics, science, the Sphinx, and others tempt him.  Like the many paintings that St. Antony’s story has inspired, Flaubert’s work is surreal, spectacularly visual, and nearly impenetrably dense.

There are some pretty fantastic highlights.  The Greek gods appear in all their glory, with Hercules holding up Mt. Olympus; eventually Hercules is crushed by the weight of the mountain, and all the gods perish.  Later, Antony rides on the horns of the Devil as they fly into space, past stars and galaxies while the Devil argues science and reason.

When I was twelve years old, I went on a religious pilgrimage to the small village of Medugorje in the former Yugoslavia (now Bosnia/Herzegovina), where supposedly the Blessed Virgin Mary has appeared to six children since 1981; this has not been confirmed nor denied by the Catholic Church.  While I was there, many other pilgrims experienced religious hallucinations: one person reported an out of body experience, others said their rosaries turned to gold, and yet others said that the mountainsides were lit up at night by brilliant supernatural lights.  I didn’t see any gold rosaries, and the mountains looked dark to me.  One American family claimed to see the ‘miracle of the sun’ in which the sun dances, splits, and changes colors and shapes.  I was sitting very nearby this family while they were experiencing this hallucination; I looked at the sun, but didn’t see anything.  I prayed and prayed to see what they were seeing, but the sun didn’t change.  I asked my father why I couldn’t see it; he told me, “If you stare long enough into the sun, you’ll see all sorts of strange things.” (Indeed, each member of the family described seeing a different version of the dancing sun.)  I felt like something was wrong with me- that my faith was not strong enough because I did not experience any of these ‘miracles’.  Later, I came to realize that I was a lot like the child that recognized that the Emperor wasn’t wearing any clothes.  One of the things I did notice about all the pilgrims that experienced religious hallucinations- they were all quick to brag about the ‘miracles’ they had experienced, like it was a status symbol of their faith.  My own mother, the most religious person I know, did not experience any religious hallucinations on that trip.

At the end of The Temptation of St. Antony, Antony, having defeated all temptations, sees the face of Jesus Christ in the disc of the sun.  Finally at peace, he makes the sign of the cross and returns to his prayers.

I no longer hold resentment towards the pilgrims that experienced religious hallucinations.  Many members of other religions put themselves into altered states through asceticism like St. Antony to have religious hallucinations.  They seem to experience a great deal of joy from the ‘miracles’.  After all, the people all cheered with joy when they saw the Emperor’s new ‘clothes’.  I just hope that that American family didn’t experience permanent eye damage from staring at the sun for so long.   I choose to keep my health and wits instead of hallucinating to get closer to God.


Filed under Uncategorized

#101 “Dead Souls” by Nikolay Gogol (#914 on The List)

by Michael Niewodowski

#101 Dead Souls by Nikolay Gogol (#914 on The List)

Nikolay Gogol went completely mad as he was writing Dead Souls.  After reading the novel, this makes a lot of sense to me.  It starts out as a humorous, biting satire, but spirals off into near incomprehensibleness in the second part.  There are huge chunks of text missing, and the book ends unfinished- literally in mid-sentence.  Gogol died of self-inflicted starvation before he finished the novel.

In Dead Souls, Pavel Ivanovich Chichikov travels the Russian countryside purchasing the deeds to dead serfs from rich landowners.  Chichikov has discovered a bureaucratic loophole that can help him to get rich by mortgaging the deeds to the dead serfs before the government realizes that they are dead; the dead souls are more valuable to him than the living serfs.  The satire is that the Russia would place more value on dead serfs than live ones.

Class distinction and inequality is an oft-used theme in literature.  Nowhere is it better satirized than in Dead Souls.  A lot has been said and written in the last few years about this issue: the “Occupy Wall Street” movement has targeted the top 1% of earners in the United States (those making over $500,000 a year).  I grew up in an upper-middle class family, now I am somewhere in the middle-lower-middle class to upper-lower-middle class range; each range has its own advantages and problems.  It is interesting to see how much attention society places on this issue, but apparently it is nothing new: “we have men so wise and adroit that they will speak to a landowner possessing but two hundred serf-souls in a way altogether different from that in which they will to one who possesses three hundred of them; while to him who possesses three hundred of them they will again speak not in the same way as they would with him that has five hundred souls…in brief, even if you were to go up to a million, you would find different shadings for each category.”  (Dead Souls, p. 57).   I think that most Americans in the “99%” would find themselves just as uncomfortable in the bottom 1% (making $2500 or less per year) as the top 1% would be.  Most of the populace in Gogol’s Russia would have fallen into this category of extremely poor.

This will sound base and unconnected, but one of the most enjoyable aspects of reading Russian literature is for the wonderful Russian character names.  Besides Chichikov, there are characters named Athanassii Vassilievich Murazov, Fedor Fedorovich Lenitzin, and Alexander Dmitrievich Betrischev.  Some of the names from Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment are even more fun: Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov, Arkady Ivanovich Svidrigailov, etc.  If I ever write a novel, I will be sure to have a character with a great Russian name.

I think that the “Occupy Wall Street” people would learn a lot from reading Dead Souls and the information about Gogol; sometimes I worry that if they are too successful we’ll all have our exact income percentage projected on our foreheads.  According to 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die, Gogol’s intention for Dead Souls was to “rekindle the noble yet dormant core of the Russian people, to transform the troubled social and economic landscape of Russia into the gleaming great Empire that was its destiny…he no longer wanted to write about Russia: he wanted to save it” (p. 112).  If we become too obsessed with fixing class inequality, we could, like Gogol, go stark raving mad.


Filed under Journals

#57 Revisited “The Once and Future King” by T. H. White


by Michael Niewodowski

#57 Revisited The Once and Future King by T. H. White (#477 on The List)

Hic jacet Arthurus, rex quondam, rex que futurus (Here lies Arthur, king once, and king to be) – inscribed on King Arthur’s tomb.


‘Magical’ is not nearly a strong enough term for T. H. White’s The Once and Future King. This re-telling of the classic King Arthur legend is set in antiquity, but told in a modern style.  From the magician Merlyn’s training of young Arthur (the Wart) to the Knights of the Round Table to the Quest for the Holy Grail to Lancelot and Queen Guinevere’s affair to the tragic ending, one episode is more enchanting than the other.

The Arthurian legends have been told and retold throughout the centuries, setting the scene for Britain’s rich history of fantasy literature, including Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream, Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, Lewis’ Narnia series, and Rowling’s Harry Potter series.  The Once and Future King has become a part of our culture; it inspired the Disney film “The Sword in the Stone” and the musical “Camelot”, and J.K. Rowling cited it as a major inspiration for her novels.  It seems strange, therefore, that White’s novel is not better known; it certainly deserves as much recognition as the aforementioned works.  When I chose the book from my list earlier this year, I had never heard of it and had no idea what it was about.

There is a great deal of knowledge and wisdom to be gained from reading The Once and Future King; in fact some of the wisest and most inspirational quotes I know comes from the novel.*  For me, however, reading this book is all about experiencing childlike wonder and joy.  Turning the pages of this novel is like unwrapping presents on Christmas morning.  Consider the following passage in which Merlyn becomes frustrated with the Wart’s training:

Merlyn took off his spectacles, dashed them on the floor and jumped on them with both feet.

‘Castor and Pollux blow me to Bermuda!’ he exclaimed, and immediately vanished with a frightful roar.

The Wart was still staring at his tutor’s chair in some perplexity, a few moments later, when Merlyn reappeared.  He had lost his hat and his hair and beard were tangled up, as if by a hurricane.  He sat down again, straightening his gown with trembling fingers.

‘Why did you do that?’ asked the Wart.

‘I did not do it on purpose.’

‘Do you mean to say that Castor and Pollux did blow you to Bermuda?’

‘Let this be a lesson to you,’ replied Merlyn, ‘not to swear…’

(…a lesson I might have done well to learn earlier in life.)

When I was in a graduate English class studying Shakespeare and Marlowe, our professor talked about how much she enjoyed reading Macbeth for the witches.  In the midst of hundreds of hours and thousands of pages of intensive literary criticism, our brilliant PhD professor spoke about the childlike joy she got out of reading about mystical characters.  How refreshing!

We read for a myriad of reasons: to learn, to escape, to change, and to grow.  One of the best reasons to read is for the sheer joy of it.  Personally, I’ve found no novel that has given me more joy than The Once and Future King.  I can hardly wait until my son is a little bit older so that I can read it to him.  What a glorious book!


* “The best thing for being sad,” replied Merlin, beginning to puff and blow, “is to learn something.  That’s the only thing that never fails.  You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds.  There is only one thing for it then – to learn.  Learn why the world wags and what wags it.  That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting.  Learning is the only thing for you.  Look what a lot of things there are to learn.”

Note:  No reading of The Once and Future King is complete without the posthumously published conclusion, The Book of Merlyn, as White intended.  The Book of Merlyn itself has an interesting story as a “casualty of war.”


Filed under Journals

#100 “Aesop’s Fables” by Aesopus

by Michael Niewodowski

#100 Aesop’s Fables by Aesopus (#1001 on The List)

And the moral of the story is……

Human beings are problem-solving animals.  In a purely physical fight with any animal of equal mass, a human is sure to lose; what really sets us apart is our capacity for complex problem solving.  In Aesop’s Fables, many animals are given human problem solving characteristics.  The animals in the fables can to teach us a great deal about ourselves.

Many of the fables and lessons are familiar: The tortoise and the hare = slow and steady wins the race; the goose that lays golden eggs = don’t ruin a good thing; the boy who cried wolf = you can’t believe a liar even when he tells the truth.  However, what struck me while reading these fables is that many of the morals are in disagreement with each other.  One teaching that is universal, however, is that a person’s true character cannot be changed; for example, in the fable of the crow and the swan, the crow takes up residence in the water in hopes to wash away the black and become as white as the swan = although you change your habits, you cannot change your nature.

Aesop’s Fables originate in ancient Greece, and many of them deal with the Greek gods and goddesses, including creation stories.  We tend to dismiss the ancient Greek beliefs as mythology, although it is evident that most of the ancient Greeks took the gods quite literally.  Nowadays, we are much more intelligent and educated. We all know that death is a natural and inevitable phenomenon, and not a personified supernatural being; we know that the earth revolves around the sun, and that Apollo doesn’t drive the sun across the sky with a chariot; we know that Zeus didn’t create the animals and give them all their characteristics.  Right?

I believed in creationism until I was in my twenties.  This was not ‘intelligent design’, but full-on creationism- as in God blinked the humans, the animals, the earth, and everything in it into existence in six days.  Although I was raised Catholic, I attended a Fundamentalist Christian school.  We were taught from books called Evolution: The Big Lie and others.  Our World History teacher assured us that there was irrevocable evidence of ‘the great flood’, and that the proof that humans and dinosaurs co-existed is many cultures’ legends of dragons.  I was taught and believed a literal interpretation of the book of Genesis.

My own father tried to educate me on this issue; I prayed for his soul.

When I finally learned and accepted scientific fact (thanks in large part to the Discovery Channel) it was a huge shock to my system.  Evolution was not a vast secular conspiracy to tear Christians away from their religious beliefs as I had been taught indoctrinated to believe.  I started to question all the truths and beliefs I had held so closely.  I am no longer resentful of this experience; rather I am thankful that it instilled a questioning and problem-solving nature in me (although, if we are to believe Aesop’s Fables, I ALWAYS had that questioning nature).

The Dalai Lama recently said, “If science proves some belief of Buddhism wrong, then Buddhism will have to change.”*  Wouldn’t the world be a much better place is all religions followed this tenet?  To their credit, the Catholic Church has made huge strides on this issue (I think they learned a lot from the Galileo affair), however, they have a long way to go, and progress is slow.  The Fundamentalists, and many other religions, dismiss or re-write science, history, and reality to accommodate their beliefs, all while praying to the heavens for knowledge, wisdom, and guidance.

Aesop’s fable of the wagoner is a story of a man whose cart gets stuck in the mud.  He prays to the gods to help him; finally a god comes down and tells him to start pushing the cart, saying, “If you won’t lift a finger to help yourself, you can’t expect the gods or anyone else to come to your aid” = heaven helps those who help themselves.  If we ourselves are not willing to educate ourselves and sharpen our own problem solving skills, we deserve the ignorance so many of us are mired in.


* http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/12/opinion/12dalai.html?pagewanted=all  The article is well worth reading.


Filed under Uncategorized

#99 “Life of Pi” by Yann Martel

by Michael Niewodowski

#99 Life of Pi by Yann Martel (#49 on The List)

A boy adrift on a lifeboat in the Pacific Ocean…..with a Bengal tiger.  I admit; I only had to see this image from the preview for the upcoming movie version of Life of Pi, and I rushed to the library to check out the book.  Yann Martel’s first novel is a spellbinding adventure story.  Part survival tale, part religious contemplation, it is a book that I would recommend to anyone with an adventurous spirit.

Life of Pi follows the story of Piscine (Pi) Molitor Patel, the son of a zookeeper, growing up in Pondicherry, India.  Even as a young teenager, Pi has a daring character; he simultaneously becomes a practicing Hindu, Christian, and Muslim, much to the chagrin of his parents, not to mention the pandit, priest, and imam.  Pi quotes Gandhi: “All religions are true.”  When Pi and his family (mother, father, brother and most of the zoo) set sail for a new life in Canada,  Pi’s great adventure begins. Cast away on a lifeboat with a 450 pound tiger, Pi puts all of his endurance, survival skills, and faith to the test.

It is strange that in life, sometimes the greatest tragedy can lead to the greatest triumphs.  Pi’s greatest tragedy lead to his triumph- conquering certain death either from the high seas or at the claws and teeth of a hungry tiger.

The greatest tragedy in my life led to one of my greatest triumphs.  I am a September 11, 2001 terrorist attack survivor.  I worked on the 107th floor of the World Trade Center up until 9/11.  On that horrible day, I watched the towers burn from less than a mile away; a few hours before or after, I would have been in the building myself.  As a direct result of this tragedy, for nearly the next decade, I dedicated myself to service.  I took a job at a lower socio-economic high school, teaching Culinary Arts.  I gave thousands of hours of my own time, and thousands of my own dollars to build a program from scratch.  I gave heart and soul to my students and to the community.  I know that I made a huge difference in many people’s lives; after my work as a father, I am most proud of my accomplishments as a teacher.  This culminated in telling my story- this story- to a crowd of thousands of teachers, students, and industry leaders.

Pi’s high-seas adventure ended with a disappointment.  However, the rest of his life became his greatest adventure yet.  My teaching adventure ended with a disappointment.  The rest of my life has just begun.

Life of Pi teaches us that we write our own Story.


Filed under Journals

#98 “Infinite Jest” by David Foster Wallace

by Michael Niewodowski

#98 Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace. (#107 on The List)

(Hamlet takes the skull): “Alas poor Yorick. I knew him, Horatio—a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy. He hath borne me on his back a thousand times; and now, how abhorred my imagination is! My gorge rises at it…..” Hamlet Act 5, Scene 1.

We live in very stressful times. From the up-to-the-second paced, information-overloaded world of modern technology to constant, screaming streams of bad (never good) news-casts to an excess of daily obligations, a hysterical reality pervades our culture. Infinite Jest* is a study in anxiety. It is a look at the frantic hyper-angst we experience daily and our desperate, futile attempts to process it positively.

It’s a comedy.

In fact, it is the funniest novel I have ever read. I laughed loudly dozens of times. Three times, I laughed until tears rolled down my cheeks.

Set in an alternate present in which years are no longer told by consecutive numbers, but rather subsidized by corporate sponsors (most of the action takes place in the Year of the Adult Depend Undergarment), Infinite Jest loosely follows the lives of the Incandenza family. The characters are……..interesting. James O. Incandenza, the paterfamilias, has made a film, ‘Infinite Jest’ (aka The Entertainment), that is so entertaining that anyone who watches it, even for a moment, has no other compulsion but to watch it over and over again, eventually dying from lack of sustenance. Incandenza uses an actress in the film that is so beautiful that she must wear a veil over her face to stop men from falling desperately in love with her; Orin Incandenza, one of the three sons, does. If The Entertainment could be weaponized by Les Assassins des Fauteuils Rollents (Quebec separatist wheelchair assassins), it could be a nation destroyer. A CIA-like agent, Hugh/Helen Steeply, undergoes gender re-assignment surgery to more effectively infiltrate and stop the separatist group. Hal Incandenza, the youngest son, is a marijuana addicted, boarding school tennis brat, who plays Eschaton** and contemplates his relationship with his (now deceased) father.

Many of the episodes in the novel seem to be governed by a more extreme version of Murphy’s Law: if it can go wrong, it will; it can always go wrong, so it always will go wrong; when it goes wrong, it will go wrong in a very, very bad way. This leads to situations in which normal tasks like fixing a squeaky bed, re-parking a car, or interviewing with college admissions become epic struggles reminiscent of The Iliad.***

My father was tightly wound. An annoying song, a squeaky wheel, or a less-than-helpful customer-service-representative could send him into paroxysms of angry frustration that most of us will never know. Besides his more-than-full-time job as a surgeon, he worked sixty to eighty hours a week on home repairs, family auto repairs, and intensive yard landscaping. Even entertainment and relaxation were full-time jobs for him; he would meticulously plan out nearly every aspect of the family vacation- the rest of the family were clearly only along for the ride. For the most part, my father and I differ on this account. I consider myself to be fairly calm, although I imagine that many people that saw me working as a professional chef would say otherwise.

Anxiety and addiction go hand in hand. Most of the characters in Infinite Jest are extremely anxious, and extremely addicted. Much of the action is set at the Ennet House Drug and Alcohol Recovery House. In the world of Infinite Jest,
The Entertainment represents the ultimate drug; some characters literally beg to view the film, despite full awareness that it is essentially suicide.

I have recently come to terms with a fifteen-year adrenaline addiction. A professional restaurant kitchen environment is, by design, a high stress environment. Most chefs, myself included, would trigger the fight or flight mechanism to get a rush of adrenaline; this gave us the ability to accomplish superhuman feats of skill and organization. I honestly did not recognize the addiction nor even the ‘adrenaline drug’ while I was working as a chef. I feel very fortunate that I never succumbed to much more serious alcohol or drug addiction, like so many chefs and restaurant workers do.

We all need some sort of escape from reality— some entertainment. For now, I have replaced my adrenaline rush with this healthier(?) escape into 1001 novels and writing this blog.

At over 1000 pages (I listened to more than 56 hours of unabridged audiobook), and with 388 footnotes, David Foster Wallace’s novel is a magnum opus, extravagant in details, with intricate and intense plot and character connections****.

The hyper-anxiety– the hysterical reality– that Wallace so adeptly describes is amplified by his suicide less than ten years after publication of Infinite Jest.

(Hamlet, still holding the skull): “….Where be your gibes now, your gambols, your songs, your flashes of merriment that were wont to set the table on a roar? Not one now to mock your own grinning? Quite chop-fallen?” Hamlet Act 5, Scene 1.

The rest is silence…..except, of course, for the footnotes.


*In an attempt to be true to Wallace’s style, I will use footnotes in this blog. In a break from his style, I will use asterisks in the place of numbers.

**Eschaton is a world domination and destruction game played on several tennis courts where tennis balls are nuclear weapons lobbed at opposing countries.

***For example: consider the following excerpt from Infinite Jest:


Dear Sir:
I am writing in response to your request for additional information. In block #3 of the accident reporting form, I put “trying to do the job alone”, as the cause of my accident. You said in your letter that I should explain more fully and I trust that the following details will be sufficient.
I am a bricklayer by trade. On the day of the accident, March 27, I was working alone on the roof of a new six story building. When I completed my work, I discovered that I had about 900 kg. of brick left over. Rather than laboriously carry the bricks down by hand, I decided to lower them in a barrel by using a pulley which fortunately was attached to the side of the building at the sixth floor. Securing the rope at ground level, I went up to the roof, swung the barrel out and loaded the brick into it. Then I went back to the ground and untied the rope, holding it tightly to insure a slow descent of the 900 kg of bricks. You will note in block #11 of the accident reporting form that I weigh 75 kg.
Due to my surprise at being jerked off the ground so suddenly, I lost my presence of mind and forgot to let go of the rope. Needless to say, I proceeded at a rapid rate up the side of the building. In the vicinity of the third floor I met the barrel coming down. This explains the fractured skull and the broken collar bone.
Slowed only slightly, I continued my rapid ascent not stopping until the fingers of my right hand were two knuckles deep into the pulleys. Fortunately, by this time, I had regained my presence of mind, and was able to hold tightly to the rope in spite of considerable pain. At approximately the same time, however, the barrel of bricks hit the ground and the bottom fell out of the barrel from the force of hitting the ground.
Devoid of the weight of the bricks, the barrel now weighed approximately 30 kg. I refer you again to my weight of 75 kg in block #11. As you could imagine, still holding the rope, I began a rather rapid descent from the pulley down the side of the building. In the vicinity of the third floor, I met the barrel coming up. This accounts for the two fractured ankles and the laceration of my legs and lower body.
The encounter with the barrel slowed me enough to lessen my impact with the brick-strewn ground below. I am sorry to report, however, that as I lay there on the bricks in considerable pain, unable to stand or move and watching the empty barrel six stories above me, I again lost my presence of mind and unfortunately let go of the rope, causing the barrel to begin a
(pp. 138-140)

****See character map: http://www.sampottsinc.com/ij/file/IJ_Diagram.pdf


Filed under Journals

My list so far……

My list so far……

by Michael Niewodowski

As I mentioned in my first post, I have already finished 97 of the books on the list of 1001. The following is a list of the books I have finished, the year I finished the book, the book’s number on The List, and some very brief thoughts on some of the novels. Some of the truly earth-shattering books I have read up unto this point I plan to go back and write about more extensively (I will probably re-read them before I write). These are noted with an asterisk.

1. “Don Quixote” by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra. #992. Read 2007. No one can think of Spain without Don Quixote, and no one can think of Don Quixote without Spain. When I visited Spain, and we drove across La Mancha, I imagined Don Quixote rambling along on his poor, old Rosinante with his fat companion. To see the vast empty desert terrain of central Spain, and imagine a noble “not so bright” knight looking for adventure in the midst of it lends itself to a truer understanding of the term “quixotic”.
It’s interesting that when I first visited Spain and had studied Don Quixote (I had only read an abridged version), I was about to embark on my journey to University to study Spanish and Mental Health majors- quite a quixotic mix. Like Don Quixote, I became disillusioned with the idea of being able to single-handedly save the world, so I soon dropped the Mental Health major. However, this was to be FAR from the last of my quixotic endeavours……

2. “Robinson Crusoe” by Daniel Defoe. #987. Read 2000.

3. “Gulliver’s Travels” by Jonathan Swift. #983. Read 2007. One of the two greatest satires ever written (#982 is the other, see below), Swift shows us our own faults that we don’t really want to see. I admit, I’ve been a Laputan and a Yahoo.

4. “A Modest Proposal” by Jonathan Swift. #982. Read 2003. All of us have prejudices; some of us are downright racist. Swift’s “proposal” for the rich to cook and eat poor young Irish children to prevent them from being a burden to society is far from modest, but when it was written, some readers actually thought he was serious!! Growing up in the deep south, I’ve witnessed plenty of racism and prejudice. I often imagine A Modest Proposal being re-written with young black children in the place of Irish. Again, Swift shows us the ugly side of ourselves that we don’t want to see.

5. “Justine” by Marquis de Sade. #951. Read 2010. The term sadism comes from the Marquis de Sade.

6. “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen, #938. Read 2006.

7. “Frankenstein” by Mary Wollstoncraft Shelley, #931. Read 2000. The subtitle, “The Modern Prometheus” is most telling.

8. “Last of the Mohicans” by James Fenimore Cooper, #925. Read 2001.

9. “The Fall of the House of Usher” by Edgar Allan Poe, #916. Read 2009.

10. “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens, #913. Read Pre-2000.

11. “The Purloined Letter” by Edgar Allan Poe, #909. Read Pre-2000.

12. *”The Count of Monte Cristo” by Alexandre Dumas, #906. Read 2005.

13. “Wuthering Heights” by Emily Bronte, #902. Read 2006. Seeing the moors of south England in person heightens the intensity of this novel, as well as Sherlock Holmes and the Hound of the Baskervilles.

14. *”Moby Dick” by Herman Melville, #896. Read 2008.

15. “Walden” by Henry David Thoreau, #889. Read 2001.

16. “Great Expectations” by Charles Dickens, #876. Read 2001.

17. “Silas Marner” by George Eliot, #875. Read 2001.

18. “Alices Adventures in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll, #868. Read 2008.

19. *”Crime and Punishment” by Fyodor Dostoevsky, #867. Read 2001.

20. “Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There” by Lewis Carroll, #854. Read 2008.

21. “The Brothers Karamazov” by Fyodor Dostoevsky, #837. Read 2002.

22. “Treasure Island” by Robert Louis Stevenson, #831. Read 2002.

23. “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain, #825. Read 2009.

24. “The Picture of Dorian Gray” by Oscar Wilde, #809. Read 2001.

25. “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, #801. Read 2004.

26. “Dracula” by Bram Stoker, #794. Read 2002.

27. “The War of the Worlds” by H.G. Wells, #790. Read 2004.

28. “The Hound of the Baskervilles” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, #781. Read 1997. Aptly, I was in England when I read this novel, and later visited the foggy moors of southwestern England.

29. *”Heart of Darkness” by Joseph Conrad, #780. Read 2006 (and again a few times).

30. “The Jungle” by Upton Sinclair, #767. Read 2000.

31. “Ulysses” by James Joyce, #723. Read 2004 and again in 2009. The most difficult novel I have ever read- although I’ve visited Dublin, I still lack the basic background information to really comprehend the novel.

32. “The Garden Party” by Katherine Mansfield, #714. Read 2006.

33. *”The Trial” by Franz Kafka, #701. Read January 2012.

34. *The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald, #699. Read 2003 (and again a few times).

35. “Mrs. Dalloway” by Virginia Woolf, #698. Read 2006. Woolf’s answer to Joyce’s Ulysses is more accessible and more personal.

36. *”The Sun Also Rises” by Ernest Hemingway, #689. Read August 2012.

37. “Lady Chatterley’s Lover” by D. H. Lawrence, #676. Read 2004.

38. *”The Sound and the Fury” by William Faulkner, #671. Read 2005.

39. “Farewell to Arms” by Ernest Hemingway, #663. Read 2007.

40. “Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley, #649. Read 2011. A strangely appealing dystopian future is presented in this novel. I am drawn to literature about dystopias, but this one is the only one that actually seemed like a place I might like to live.

41. *”The Hobbit” by J.R.R. Tolkien, #610. Read Pre-2000.

42. “Their Eyes Were Watching God” by Zora Neale Hurston, #609. Read 2007. Set in rural, pre-emancipation era Florida, this novel is a history lesson for anyone that lives in Florida.

43. “Of Mice and Men” by John Steinbeck, #608. Read 2006.

44. “The Big Sleep” by Raymond Chandler, #599. Read January 2012. A hard boiled detective story with so much (really cool) jargon that the book came with a glossary. Teaches us that culture and language are often completely inseparable.

45. *”The Grapes of Wrath” by John Steinbeck, #592. Read 2008.

46. *”For Whom the Bell Tolls” by Ernest Hemingway, #587. Read 1997.

47. “Animal Farm” by George Orwell, #564. Read 2002. Although I’ve never been very politically active, this and 1984 are essential for an understanding to politics in our world.

48. *”1984″ by George Orwell, #547. Read 2005.

49. “I, Robot” by Isaac Asimov, #539. Read 2004.

50. “The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger, #529. Read 1997.

51. *”The Old Man and the Sea” by Ernest Hemingway, #521. Read 2000.

52. “Casino Royale” by Ian Fleming, #518. Read 2006. I’ve always been a big fan of the James Bond movies (I’ve seen them all), but reading this book was a far more enjoyable experience than any of the films.

53. “Lord of the Flies” by William Golding, #508. Read 2000.

54. “Lolita” by Vladimir Nabokov, #496. Read 2010.

55. “The Lord of the Rings” by J.R.R. Tolkien, #494. Read 2000.

56. “On the Road” by Jack Kerouac, #484. Read 2002.

57. *”The Once and Future King” by T. H. White, #477. Read Feb. 2012.

58. “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” by Truman Capote, #467. Read Feb. 2012.

59. “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee, #456. Read 2003.

60. “Solaris” by Stanislaw Lem, #448. Read Feb. 2012. “Man has gone out to explore other worlds and other civilizations without having explored his own labyrinth of dark passages and secret chambers, and without finding what lies behind doorways that he himself has sealed.”– Solaris

61. “Stranger in a Strange Land” by Robert Heinlein, #444. Read 2005.

62. *”A Clockwork Orange” by Anthony Burgess, #437. Read 2000.

63. “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” by Ken Kesey, #436. Read 2006.

64. “In Cold Blood” by Truman Capote, #408. Read 2007.

65. *”One Hundred Years of Solitude” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, #399. Read 2004 and 2011.

66. “The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test” by Tom Wolfe, #397. Read July 2012. The novel reads like a 1960’s acid trip- which is most of what the book is about. This is as close as I get to doing psychedelic drugs.

67. “2001: A Space Odyssey” by Arthur C. Clarke, #389. Read 2003.

68. “The Godfather” by Mario Puzo, #379. Read 2002.

69. “Slaughterhouse Five” by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr, #375. Read 2005.

70. “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” by Hunter S. Thompson, #358. Read 2004.

71. “Breakfast of Champions” by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., #340. Read 2002.

72. “Interview with the Vampire” by Anne Rice, #320. Read 1994.

73. “The Shining” by Stephen King, #312. Read June 2012.

74. “The World According to Garp” by John Irving, #303. Read 2002.

75. “The Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy” by Douglas Adams, #301. Read in the 1980’s.

76. “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” by Milan Kundera, #256. Read 2002.

77. “White Noise” by Don DeLillo, #245. Read 2007.

78. *”The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood, #242. Read Jan. 2012.

79. “Less Than Zero” by Bret Easton Ellis, #240. Read 2011.

80. “Love in the Time of Cholera” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, #236. Read 2009.

81. “Watchmen” by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, #227. Read 2008.

82. “Beloved” by Toni Morrison, #223. Read 2007.

83. “The New York Trilogy” by Paul Auster, #219. Read 2011.

84. “Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency” by Douglas Adams, #210. Read July 2012.

85. “Like Water for Chocolate” by Laura Esquival, #195. Read 2002.

86. “Get Shorty” by Elmore Leonard, #174. Read April 2012.

87. “American Psycho” by Bret Easton Ellis, #166. Read 2000.

88. *”A Fine Balance” by Rohinton Mistry, #117. Read April 2012.

89. “The Untouchable” by John Banville, #100. Read June 2012.

90. “Memoirs of a Geisha” by Arthur Golden, #93. Read 2005.

91. “Sputnik Sweetheart” by Haruki Murakami, #78. Read May 2012. The opening paragraph is a cannonball- one of the most powerful in all of literature.

92. “Timbuktu” by Paul Auster, #70. Read May 2012. A novel told from the point of view of a dog, I read this while I was camping (tenting) with my 5 year old son and 5 year old Beagle. A must read for any dog lover.

93. “The Blind Assassin” by Margaret Atwood, #63. Read 2005.

94. “Ignorance” by Milan Kundera, #57. Read 2006.

95. “Choke” by Chuck Palahniuk, #48. Read 2004. I am a big fan of Chuck Palahniuk, especially Fight Club and Choke. The afterward for Choke is a biographical story of his inspiration for the novel- it is breathtakingly devastating.

96. “The Plot Against America” by Philip Roth, #8. Read Febuary 2012.

97. “Cocaine Nights” by J.G. Ballard, #102. Read August 2012.

I plan to blog about #98 by the end of the week!!!


Filed under Project Information

#97 “Cocaine Nights” by J.G. Ballard

by Michael Niewodowski

#97 “Cocaine Nights” by J.G. Ballard. (# 102 on The List).

Crime is alive and well in the Spanish beachside resort town Estrella del Mar, and so are the residents- most of them anyway. A quintuple arson murder shocks the transplant residents, despite their accustomedness to gambling, drug dealing, prostitution, robbery, and even rape. Spain’s sun-coast (Costa del Sol) is an early retirement Mecca for northern Europeans, especially the English. Along the Costa del Sol, most towns are virtually crime-free, governed and policed by the expatriates- seemingly having expelled the Spanish from their own coast. “Things are different in Estrella del Mar,” the characters often inform us. Even the victims of crime in the town act like they are “swallowing an unpleasant medicine for [their] own good” (p. 127). However, compared to the tranquilized, zombie-like residents of the rest of the Costa del Sol, the residents of Estrella del Mar are lively, athletic, cultured, and exciting. When Frank Prentice inexplicably confesses to the quintuple murder, his brother, Charles Prentice, goes to Estrella del Mar to investigate, entering a world he does not understand.

“Cocaine Nights” is a ‘page turner that will keep you guessing.’ It also asks important questions about the role of crime in society. Is crime a necessary part of a thriving society? If pain is often an impetus for positive change in an individual, is not crime an impetus for positive change in a society? “Name me a time when civic pride and the arts both flourished and there wasn’t extensive crime,” (p.261) referencing Shakespeare’s London and Medici’s Florence. It certainly works for the residents of Estrella del Mar; crime, cocaine, heroin, and LSD keep the residents very lively. Meanwhile on the rest of the coast, the same North European expatriates are dulled and dimmed by “socially acceptable” prescription medications and boredom in a completely safe condo compound; they watch satellite TV World Cup re-runs with the noise turned off. Wouldn’t a few designer drugs and some criminal mischief do them good?

The parallels with “Cocaine Nights” and my own life are interesting (well, at least to me they are). When I was 18 years old, the summer after I graduated high school, my parents gave me a graduation gift of spending a month in Alicante, Spain on the Costa del Sol. While I was there, a good friend of mine was robbed at knifepoint of her purse, watch, and jewelry by a gypsy. Although it wasn’t a life-changing experience, I still remember the excited fear I felt at hearing about the encounter, even twenty years later. The rest of us were much more vigilant after that.

Living on the suncoast of Florida, I have catered (literally) to rich, Northern transplants. I have found them to be much closer to Ballard’s zombie-like residents of the Costa del Sol than the residents of Estrella del Mar. “We’re building prisons all over the world and calling them luxury condos.” (p. 220). Despite living in ‘paradise’, and despite all their money, they usually seem bored or angry. However, upon visiting a place like Miami Beach, with it’s propensity for crime and drug use, I found a much different, much more lively type of transplant resident.

Maybe the greatest trouble in paradise is ennui.


Filed under Journals

My 1001 Book Odyssey begins……

By Michael Niewodowski

A few years ago, I picked up this book called “1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die” (General Editor Peter Boxall), which is really just a list of books with a brief analysis of each and it’s impact on the surrounding world.  Although I have a problem with the title (it should be called “1001 NOVELS You Must Read Before You Die” (there is no poetry (not even Homer’s Iliad or Odyssey), there are no plays (not even Shakespeare), and there are no short stories, all of which technically come in book form), I decided I would give the books on the list a try.  I had read a dozen or so of the novels by that point already, and I am currently reading the 97th and 98th book concurrently.  Upon reaching nearly 100 of these “essential” novels, I have realized what a life changing experience this trek has become.

During a speech I once gave to my fellow English Major students at University of South Florida, Sarasota/Manatee, I said the following: “Someone once asked me what was the one book that changed your life.  I responded, ‘Every book I’ve ever read.'”  I think that this statement holds particularly true for this project- every book on the list is so powerful that I can’t help but be seriously affected by reading it.  So far, I have been shocked, amazed, horrified, frightened, sickened, delighted, nauseated, brought to tears, brought to tears from laughter, and (most importantly) educated.  I can only imagine what the next 900 or so books will do.

I am not reading the novels in any particular order- in the book itself they are arranged chronologically.  My order is basically decided by the following questions “Does the title and/or cover seem interesting?” and “Is it available at the library or for a low price?”  It’s that simple, but so far I have not regretted the time spent by reading a single one of these novels.  I mentioned that I am reading two books concurrently- I often do this by reading one words on paper book when I have the time, and listening to audio books while driving in the car or working around the house.  Right now, I am in the midst of “Cocaine Nights” by J. G. Ballard in solid book form, and “Infinite Jest” by David Foster Wallace on audiobook.

The purpose of this blog is to keep track of my reading and to express myself about what these books have taught me.  I plan to write a journal with a personal analysis and reflection for each book I finish from now on.  I average about 50 books a year, so I plan to write two or three times each month.  I imagine this will be more of an intimate look at my life, rather than a criticism of any book.  As with any blog, you are welcome to read and respond- all commentary will be welcome except for unusually abusive or threatening comments.  You are also welcome to completely disregard and delete the blog; this is more for me than anyone else.

I also realize that at my current average of 50 books a year, this project will take more than 18 years (should I be so lucky as to live that long).  “It’s the journey, not the destination”.  My father always said, “If you’re going to do something, do it right”.  I hold these two thoughts in mind as I start this odyssey.

THE LIST (please memorize for future reference):


1.    Never Let Me Go – Kazuo Ishiguro

2.    Saturday – Ian McEwan

3.    On Beauty – Zadie Smith

4.    Slow Man – J.M. Coetzee

5.    Adjunct: An Undigest – Peter Manson

6.    The Sea – John Banville

7.    The Red Queen – Margaret Drabble

8.    The Plot Against America – Philip Roth

9.    The Master – Colm Tóibín

10.                  Vanishing Point – David Markson

11.                  The Lambs of London – Peter Ackroyd

12.                  Dining on Stones – Iain Sinclair

13.                  Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell

14.                  Drop City – T. Coraghessan Boyle

15.                  The Colour – Rose Tremain

16.                  Thursbitch – Alan Garner

17.                  The Light of Day – Graham Swift

18.                  What I Loved – Siri Hustvedt

19.                  The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time – Mark Haddon

20.                  Islands – Dan Sleigh

21.                  Elizabeth Costello – J.M. Coetzee

22.                  London Orbital – Iain Sinclair

23.                  Family Matters – Rohinton Mistry

24.                  Fingersmith – Sarah Waters

25.                  The Double – José Saramago

26.                  Everything is Illuminated – Jonathan Safran Foer

27.                  Unless – Carol Shields

28.                  Kafka on the Shore – Haruki Murakami

29.                  The Story of Lucy Gault – William Trevor

30.                  That They May Face the Rising Sun – John McGahern

31.                  In the Forest – Edna O’Brien

32.                  Shroud – John Banville

33.                  Middlesex – Jeffrey Eugenides

34.                  Youth – J.M. Coetzee

35.                  Dead Air – Iain Banks

36.                  Nowhere Man – Aleksandar Hemon

37.                  The Book of Illusions – Paul Auster

38.                  Gabriel’s Gift – Hanif Kureishi

39.                  Austerlitz – W.G. Sebald

40.                  Platform – Michael Houellebecq

41.                  Schooling – Heather McGowan

42.                  Atonement – Ian McEwan

43.                  The Corrections – Jonathan Franzen

44.                  Don’t Move – Margaret Mazzantini

45.                  The Body Artist – Don DeLillo

46.                  Fury – Salman Rushdie

47.                  At Swim, Two Boys – Jamie O’Neill

48.                  Choke – Chuck Palahniuk

49.                  Life of Pi – Yann Martel

50.                  The Feast of the Goat – Mario Vargos Llosa

51.                  An Obedient Father – Akhil Sharma

52.                  The Devil and Miss Prym – Paulo Coelho

53.                  Spring Flowers, Spring Frost – Ismail Kadare

54.                  White Teeth – Zadie Smith

55.                  The Heart of Redness – Zakes Mda

56.                  Under the Skin – Michel Faber

57.                  Ignorance – Milan Kundera

58.                  Nineteen Seventy Seven – David Peace

59.                  Celestial Harmonies – Péter Esterházy

60.                  City of God – E.L. Doctorow

61.                  How the Dead Live – Will Self

62.                  The Human Stain – Philip Roth

63.                  The Blind Assassin – Margaret Atwood

64.                  After the Quake – Haruki Murakami

65.                  Small Remedies – Shashi Deshpande

66.                  Super-Cannes – J.G. Ballard

67.                  House of Leaves – Mark Z. Danielewski

68.                  Blonde – Joyce Carol Oates

69.                  Pastoralia – George Saunders


70.                  Timbuktu – Paul Auster

71.                  The Romantics – Pankaj Mishra

72.                  Cryptonomicon – Neal Stephenson

73.                  As If I Am Not There – Slavenka Drakuli?

74.                  Everything You Need – A.L. Kennedy

75.                  Fear and Trembling – Amélie Nothomb

76.                  The Ground Beneath Her Feet – Salman Rushdie

77.                  Disgrace – J.M. Coetzee

78.                  Sputnik Sweetheart – Haruki Murakami

79.                  Elementary Particles – Michel Houellebecq

80.                  Intimacy – Hanif Kureishi

81.                  Amsterdam – Ian McEwan

82.                  Cloudsplitter – Russell Banks

83.                  All Souls Day – Cees Nooteboom

84.                  The Talk of the Town – Ardal O’Hanlon

85.                  Tipping the Velvet – Sarah Waters

86.                  The Poisonwood Bible – Barbara Kingsolver

87.                  Glamorama – Bret Easton Ellis

88.                  Another World – Pat Barker

89.                  The Hours – Michael Cunningham

90.                  Veronika Decides to Die – Paulo Coelho

91.                  Mason & Dixon – Thomas Pynchon

92.                  The God of Small Things – Arundhati Roy

93.                  Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden

94.                  Great Apes – Will Self

95.                  Enduring Love – Ian McEwan

96.                  Underworld – Don DeLillo

97.                  Jack Maggs – Peter Carey

98.                  The Life of Insects – Victor Pelevin

99.                  American Pastoral – Philip Roth

100.               The Untouchable – John Banville

101.               Silk – Alessandro Baricco

102.               Cocaine Nights – J.G. Ballard

103.               Hallucinating Foucault – Patricia Duncker

104.               Fugitive Pieces – Anne Michaels

105.               The Ghost Road – Pat Barker

106.               Forever a Stranger – Hella Haasse

107.               Infinite Jest – David Foster Wallace

108.               The Clay Machine-Gun – Victor Pelevin

109.               Alias Grace – Margaret Atwood

110.               The Unconsoled – Kazuo Ishiguro

111.               Morvern Callar – Alan Warner

112.               The Information – Martin Amis

113.               The Moor’s Last Sigh – Salman Rushdie

114.               Sabbath’s Theater – Philip Roth

115.               The Rings of Saturn – W.G. Sebald

116.               The Reader – Bernhard Schlink

117.               A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry

118.               Love’s Work – Gillian Rose

119.               The End of the Story – Lydia Davis

120.               Mr. Vertigo – Paul Auster

121.               The Folding Star – Alan Hollinghurst

122.               Whatever – Michel Houellebecq

123.               Land – Park Kyong-ni

124.               The Master of Petersburg – J.M. Coetzee

125.               The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle – Haruki Murakami

126.               Pereira Declares: A Testimony – Antonio Tabucchi

127.               City Sister Silver – Jàchym Topol

128.               How Late It Was, How Late – James Kelman

129.               Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis de Bernieres

130.               Felicia’s Journey – William Trevor

131.               Disappearance – David Dabydeen

132.               The Invention of Curried Sausage – Uwe Timm

133.               The Shipping News – E. Annie Proulx

134.               Trainspotting – Irvine Welsh

135.               Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks

136.               Looking for the Possible Dance – A.L. Kennedy

137.               Operation Shylock – Philip Roth

138.               Complicity – Iain Banks

139.               On Love – Alain de Botton

140.               What a Carve Up! – Jonathan Coe

141.               A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth

142.               The Stone Diaries – Carol Shields

143.               The Virgin Suicides – Jeffrey Eugenides

144.               The House of Doctor Dee – Peter Ackroyd

145.               The Robber Bride – Margaret Atwood

146.               The Emigrants – W.G. Sebald

147.               The Secret History – Donna Tartt

148.               Life is a Caravanserai – Emine Özdamar

149.               The Discovery of Heaven – Harry Mulisch

150.               A Heart So White – Javier Marias

151.               Possessing the Secret of Joy – Alice Walker

152.               Indigo – Marina Warner

153.               The Crow Road – Iain Banks

154.               Written on the Body – Jeanette Winterson

155.               Jazz – Toni Morrison

156.               The English Patient – Michael Ondaatje

157.               Smilla’s Sense of Snow – Peter Høeg

158.               The Butcher Boy – Patrick McCabe

159.               Black Water – Joyce Carol Oates

160.               The Heather Blazing – Colm Tóibín

161.               Asphodel – H.D. (Hilda Doolittle)

162.               Black Dogs – Ian McEwan

163.               Hideous Kinky – Esther Freud

164.               Arcadia – Jim Crace

165.               Wild Swans – Jung Chang

166.               American Psycho – Bret Easton Ellis

167.               Time’s Arrow – Martin Amis

168.               Mao II – Don DeLillo

169.               Typical – Padgett Powell

170.               Regeneration – Pat Barker

171.               Downriver – Iain Sinclair

172.               Señor Vivo and the Coca Lord – Louis de Bernieres

173.               Wise Children – Angela Carter

174.               Get Shorty – Elmore Leonard

175.               Amongst Women – John McGahern

176.               Vineland – Thomas Pynchon

177.               Vertigo – W.G. Sebald

178.               Stone Junction – Jim Dodge

179.               The Music of Chance – Paul Auster

180.               The Things They Carried – Tim O’Brien

181.               A Home at the End of the World – Michael Cunningham

182.               Like Life – Lorrie Moore

183.               Possession – A.S. Byatt

184.               The Buddha of Suburbia – Hanif Kureishi

185.               The Midnight Examiner – William Kotzwinkle

186.               A Disaffection – James Kelman

187.               Sexing the Cherry – Jeanette Winterson

188.               Moon Palace – Paul Auster

189.               Billy Bathgate – E.L. Doctorow

190.               Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro

191.               The Melancholy of Resistance – László Krasznahorkai

192.               The Temple of My Familiar – Alice Walker

193.               The Trick is to Keep Breathing – Janice Galloway

194.               The History of the Siege of Lisbon – José Saramago

195.               Like Water for Chocolate – Laura Esquivel

196.               A Prayer for Owen Meany – John Irving

197.               London Fields – Martin Amis

198.               The Book of Evidence – John Banville

199.               Cat’s Eye – Margaret Atwood

200.               Foucault’s Pendulum – Umberto Eco

201.               The Beautiful Room is Empty – Edmund White

202.               Wittgenstein’s Mistress – David Markson

203.               The Satanic Verses – Salman Rushdie

204.               The Swimming-Pool Library – Alan Hollinghurst

205.               Oscar and Lucinda – Peter Carey

206.               Libra – Don DeLillo

207.               The Player of Games – Iain M. Banks

208.               Nervous Conditions – Tsitsi Dangarembga

209.               The Long Dark Teatime of the Soul – Douglas Adams

210.               Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency – Douglas Adams

211.               The Radiant Way – Margaret Drabble

212.               The Afternoon of a Writer – Peter Handke

213.               The Black Dahlia – James Ellroy

214.               The Passion – Jeanette Winterson

215.               The Pigeon – Patrick Süskind

216.               The Child in Time – Ian McEwan

217.               Cigarettes – Harry Mathews

218.               The Bonfire of the Vanities – Tom Wolfe

219.               The New York Trilogy – Paul Auster

220.               World’s End – T. Coraghessan Boyle

221.               Enigma of Arrival – V.S. Naipaul

222.               The Taebek Mountains – Jo Jung-rae

223.               Beloved – Toni Morrison

224.               Anagrams – Lorrie Moore

225.               Matigari – Ngugi Wa Thiong’o

226.               Marya – Joyce Carol Oates

227.               Watchmen – Alan Moore & David Gibbons

228.               The Old Devils – Kingsley Amis

229.               Lost Language of Cranes – David Leavitt

230.               An Artist of the Floating World – Kazuo Ishiguro

231.               Extinction – Thomas Bernhard

232.               Foe – J.M. Coetzee

233.               The Drowned and the Saved – Primo Levi

234.               Reasons to Live – Amy Hempel

235.               The Parable of the Blind – Gert Hofmann

236.               Love in the Time of Cholera – Gabriel García Márquez

237.               Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit – Jeanette Winterson

238.               The Cider House Rules – John Irving

239.               A Maggot – John Fowles

240.               Less Than Zero – Bret Easton Ellis

241.               Contact – Carl Sagan

242.               The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood

243.               Perfume – Patrick Süskind

244.               Old Masters – Thomas Bernhard

245.               White Noise – Don DeLillo

246.               Queer – William Burroughs

247.               Hawksmoor – Peter Ackroyd

248.               Legend – David Gemmell

249.               Dictionary of the Khazars – Milorad Pavi?

250.               The Bus Conductor Hines – James Kelman

251.               The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis – José Saramago

252.               The Lover – Marguerite Duras

253.               Empire of the Sun – J.G. Ballard

254.               The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks

255.               Nights at the Circus – Angela Carter

256.               The Unbearable Lightness of Being – Milan Kundera

257.               Blood and Guts in High School – Kathy Acker

258.               Neuromancer – William Gibson

259.               Flaubert’s Parrot – Julian Barnes

260.               Money: A Suicide Note – Martin Amis

261.               Shame – Salman Rushdie

262.               Worstward Ho – Samuel Beckett

263.               Fools of Fortune – William Trevor

264.               La Brava – Elmore Leonard

265.               Waterland – Graham Swift

266.               The Life and Times of Michael K – J.M. Coetzee

267.               The Diary of Jane Somers – Doris Lessing

268.               The Piano Teacher – Elfriede Jelinek

269.               The Sorrow of Belgium – Hugo Claus

270.               If Not Now, When? – Primo Levi

271.               A Boy’s Own Story – Edmund White

272.               The Color Purple – Alice Walker

273.               Wittgenstein’s Nephew – Thomas Bernhard

274.               A Pale View of Hills – Kazuo Ishiguro

275.               Schindler’s Ark – Thomas Keneally

276.               The House of the Spirits – Isabel Allende

277.               The Newton Letter – John Banville

278.               On the Black Hill – Bruce Chatwin

279.               Concrete – Thomas Bernhard

280.               The Names – Don DeLillo

281.               Rabbit is Rich – John Updike

282.               Lanark: A Life in Four Books – Alasdair Gray

283.               The Comfort of Strangers – Ian McEwan

284.               July’s People – Nadine Gordimer

285.               Summer in Baden-Baden – Leonid Tsypkin

286.               Broken April – Ismail Kadare

287.               Waiting for the Barbarians – J.M. Coetzee

288.               Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie

289.               Rites of Passage – William Golding

290.               Rituals – Cees Nooteboom

291.               Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole

292.               City Primeval – Elmore Leonard

293.               The Name of the Rose – Umberto Eco

294.               The Book of Laughter and Forgetting – Milan Kundera

295.               Smiley’s People – John Le Carré

296.               Shikasta – Doris Lessing

297.               A Bend in the River – V.S. Naipaul

298.               Burger’s Daughter – Nadine Gordimer

299.               The Safety Net – Heinrich Böll

300.               If On a Winter’s Night a Traveler – Italo Calvino

301.               The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams

302.               The Cement Garden – Ian McEwan

303.               The World According to Garp – John Irving

304.               Life: A User’s Manual – Georges Perec

305.               The Sea, The Sea – Iris Murdoch

306.               The Singapore Grip – J.G. Farrell

307.               Yes – Thomas Bernhard

308.               The Virgin in the Garden – A.S. Byatt

309.               In the Heart of the Country – J.M. Coetzee

310.               The Passion of New Eve – Angela Carter

311.               Delta of Venus – Anaïs Nin

312.               The Shining – Stephen King

313.               Dispatches – Michael Herr

314.               Petals of Blood – Ngugi Wa Thiong’o

315.               Song of Solomon – Toni Morrison

316.               The Hour of the Star – Clarice Lispector

317.               The Left-Handed Woman – Peter Handke

318.               Ratner’s Star – Don DeLillo

319.               The Public Burning – Robert Coover

320.               Interview With the Vampire – Anne Rice

321.               Cutter and Bone – Newton Thornburg

322.               Amateurs – Donald Barthelme

323.               Patterns of Childhood – Christa Wolf

324.               Autumn of the Patriarch – Gabriel García Márquez

325.               W, or the Memory of Childhood – Georges Perec

326.               A Dance to the Music of Time – Anthony Powell

327.               Grimus – Salman Rushdie

328.               The Dead Father – Donald Barthelme

329.               Fateless – Imre Kertész

330.               Willard and His Bowling Trophies – Richard Brautigan

331.               High Rise – J.G. Ballard

332.               Humboldt’s Gift – Saul Bellow

333.               Dead Babies – Martin Amis

334.               Correction – Thomas Bernhard

335.               Ragtime – E.L. Doctorow

336.               The Fan Man – William Kotzwinkle

337.               Dusklands – J.M. Coetzee

338.               The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum – Heinrich Böll

339.               Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy – John Le Carré

340.               Breakfast of Champions – Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

341.               Fear of Flying – Erica Jong

342.               A Question of Power – Bessie Head

343.               The Siege of Krishnapur – J.G. Farrell

344.               The Castle of Crossed Destinies – Italo Calvino

345.               Crash – J.G. Ballard

346.               The Honorary Consul – Graham Greene

347.               Gravity’s Rainbow – Thomas Pynchon

348.               The Black Prince – Iris Murdoch

349.               Sula – Toni Morrison

350.               Invisible Cities – Italo Calvino

351.               The Breast – Philip Roth

352.               The Summer Book – Tove Jansson

353.               G – John Berger

354.               Surfacing – Margaret Atwood

355.               House Mother Normal – B.S. Johnson

356.               In A Free State – V.S. Naipaul

357.               The Book of Daniel – E.L. Doctorow

358.               Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas – Hunter S. Thompson

359.               Group Portrait With Lady – Heinrich Böll

360.               The Wild Boys – William Burroughs

361.               Rabbit Redux – John Updike

362.               The Sea of Fertility – Yukio Mishima

363.               The Driver’s Seat – Muriel Spark

364.               The Ogre – Michael Tournier

365.               The Bluest Eye – Toni Morrison

366.               Goalie’s Anxiety at the Penalty Kick – Peter Handke

367.               I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings – Maya Angelou

368.               Mercier et Camier – Samuel Beckett

369.               Troubles – J.G. Farrell

370.               Jahrestage – Uwe Johnson

371.               The Atrocity Exhibition – J.G. Ballard

372.               Tent of Miracles – Jorge Amado

373.               Pricksongs and Descants – Robert Coover

374.               Blind Man With a Pistol – Chester Hines

375.               Slaughterhouse-five – Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

376.               The French Lieutenant’s Woman – John Fowles

377.               The Green Man – Kingsley Amis

378.               Portnoy’s Complaint – Philip Roth

379.               The Godfather – Mario Puzo

380.               Ada – Vladimir Nabokov

381.               Them – Joyce Carol Oates

382.               A Void/Avoid – Georges Perec

383.               Eva Trout – Elizabeth Bowen

384.               Myra Breckinridge – Gore Vidal

385.               The Nice and the Good – Iris Murdoch

386.               Belle du Seigneur – Albert Cohen

387.               Cancer Ward – Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn

388.               The First Circle – Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn

389.               2001: A Space Odyssey – Arthur C. Clarke

390.               Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? – Philip K. Dick

391.               Dark as the Grave Wherein My Friend is Laid – Malcolm Lowry

392.               The German Lesson – Siegfried Lenz

393.               In Watermelon Sugar – Richard Brautigan

394.               A Kestrel for a Knave – Barry Hines

395.               The Quest for Christa T. – Christa Wolf

396.               Chocky – John Wyndham

397.               The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test – Tom Wolfe

398.               The Cubs and Other Stories – Mario Vargas Llosa

399.               One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel García Márquez

400.               The Master and Margarita – Mikhail Bulgakov

401.               Pilgrimage – Dorothy Richardson

402.               The Joke – Milan Kundera

403.               No Laughing Matter – Angus Wilson

404.               The Third Policeman – Flann O’Brien

405.               A Man Asleep – Georges Perec

406.               The Birds Fall Down – Rebecca West

407.               Trawl – B.S. Johnson

408.               In Cold Blood – Truman Capote

409.               The Magus – John Fowles

410.               The Vice-Consul – Marguerite Duras

411.               Wide Sargasso Sea – Jean Rhys

412.               Giles Goat-Boy – John Barth

413.               The Crying of Lot 49 – Thomas Pynchon

414.               Things – Georges Perec

415.               The River Between – Ngugi wa Thiong’o

416.               August is a Wicked Month – Edna O’Brien

417.               God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater – Kurt Vonnegut

418.               Everything That Rises Must Converge – Flannery O’Connor

419.               The Passion According to G.H. – Clarice Lispector

420.               Sometimes a Great Notion – Ken Kesey

421.               Come Back, Dr. Caligari – Donald Bartholme

422.               Albert Angelo – B.S. Johnson

423.               Arrow of God – Chinua Achebe

424.               The Ravishing of Lol V. Stein – Marguerite Duras

425.               Herzog – Saul Bellow

426.               V. – Thomas Pynchon

427.               Cat’s Cradle – Kurt Vonnegut

428.               The Graduate – Charles Webb

429.               Manon des Sources – Marcel Pagnol

430.               The Spy Who Came in from the Cold – John Le Carré

431.               The Girls of Slender Means – Muriel Spark

432.               Inside Mr. Enderby – Anthony Burgess

433.               The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath

434.               One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich – Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn

435.               The Collector – John Fowles

436.               One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest – Ken Kesey

437.               A Clockwork Orange – Anthony Burgess

438.               Pale Fire – Vladimir Nabokov

439.               The Drowned World – J.G. Ballard

440.               The Golden Notebook – Doris Lessing

441.               Labyrinths – Jorg Luis Borges

442.               Girl With Green Eyes – Edna O’Brien

443.               The Garden of the Finzi-Continis – Giorgio Bassani

444.               Stranger in a Strange Land – Robert Heinlein

445.               Franny and Zooey – J.D. Salinger

446.               A Severed Head – Iris Murdoch

447.               Faces in the Water – Janet Frame

448.               Solaris – Stanislaw Lem

449.               Cat and Mouse – Günter Grass

450.               The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie – Muriel Spark

451.               Catch-22 – Joseph Heller

452.               The Violent Bear it Away – Flannery O’Connor

453.               How It Is – Samuel Beckett

454.               Our Ancestors – Italo Calvino

455.               The Country Girls – Edna O’Brien

456.               To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee

457.               Rabbit, Run – John Updike

458.               Promise at Dawn – Romain Gary

459.               Cider With Rosie – Laurie Lee

460.               Billy Liar – Keith Waterhouse

461.               Naked Lunch – William Burroughs

462.               The Tin Drum – Günter Grass

463.               Absolute Beginners – Colin MacInnes

464.               Henderson the Rain King – Saul Bellow

465.               Memento Mori – Muriel Spark

466.               Billiards at Half-Past Nine – Heinrich Böll

467.               Breakfast at Tiffany’s – Truman Capote

468.               The Leopard – Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa

469.               Pluck the Bud and Destroy the Offspring – Kenzaburo Oe

470.               A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute

471.               The Bitter Glass – Eilís Dillon

472.               Things Fall Apart – Chinua Achebe

473.               Saturday Night and Sunday Morning – Alan Sillitoe

474.               Mrs. ‘Arris Goes to Paris – Paul Gallico

475.               Borstal Boy – Brendan Behan

476.               The End of the Road – John Barth

477.               The Once and Future King – T.H. White

478.               The Bell – Iris Murdoch

479.               Jealousy – Alain Robbe-Grillet

480.               Voss – Patrick White

481.               The Midwich Cuckoos – John Wyndham

482.               Blue Noon – Georges Bataille

483.               Homo Faber – Max Frisch

484.               On the Road – Jack Kerouac

485.               Pnin – Vladimir Nabokov

486.               Doctor Zhivago – Boris Pasternak

487.               The Wonderful “O” – James Thurber

488.               Justine – Lawrence Durrell

489.               Giovanni’s Room – James Baldwin

490.               The Lonely Londoners – Sam Selvon

491.               The Roots of Heaven – Romain Gary

492.               Seize the Day – Saul Bellow

493.               The Floating Opera – John Barth

494.               The Lord of the Rings – J.R.R. Tolkien

495.               The Talented Mr. Ripley – Patricia Highsmith

496.               Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov

497.               A World of Love – Elizabeth Bowen

498.               The Trusting and the Maimed – James Plunkett

499.               The Quiet American – Graham Greene

500.               The Last Temptation of Christ – Nikos Kazantzákis

501.               The Recognitions – William Gaddis

502.               The Ragazzi – Pier Paulo Pasolini

503.               Bonjour Tristesse – Françoise Sagan

504.               I’m Not Stiller – Max Frisch

505.               Self Condemned – Wyndham Lewis

506.               The Story of O – Pauline Réage

507.               A Ghost at Noon – Alberto Moravia

508.               Lord of the Flies – William Golding

509.               Under the Net – Iris Murdoch

510.               The Go-Between – L.P. Hartley

511.               The Long Goodbye – Raymond Chandler

512.               The Unnamable – Samuel Beckett

513.               Watt – Samuel Beckett

514.               Lucky Jim – Kingsley Amis

515.               Junkie – William Burroughs

516.               The Adventures of Augie March – Saul Bellow

517.               Go Tell It on the Mountain – James Baldwin

518.               Casino Royale – Ian Fleming

519.               The Judge and His Hangman – Friedrich Dürrenmatt

520.               Invisible Man – Ralph Ellison

521.               The Old Man and the Sea – Ernest Hemingway

522.               Wise Blood – Flannery O’Connor

523.               The Killer Inside Me – Jim Thompson

524.               Memoirs of Hadrian – Marguerite Yourcenar

525.               Malone Dies – Samuel Beckett

526.               Day of the Triffids – John Wyndham

527.               Foundation – Isaac Asimov

528.               The Opposing Shore – Julien Gracq

529.               The Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger

530.               The Rebel – Albert Camus

531.               Molloy – Samuel Beckett

532.               The End of the Affair – Graham Greene

533.               The Abbot C – Georges Bataille

534.               The Labyrinth of Solitude – Octavio Paz

535.               The Third Man – Graham Greene

536.               The 13 Clocks – James Thurber

537.               Gormenghast – Mervyn Peake

538.               The Grass is Singing – Doris Lessing

539.               I, Robot – Isaac Asimov

540.               The Moon and the Bonfires – Cesare Pavese

541.               The Garden Where the Brass Band Played – Simon Vestdijk

542.               Love in a Cold Climate – Nancy Mitford

543.               The Case of Comrade Tulayev – Victor Serge

544.               The Heat of the Day – Elizabeth Bowen

545.               Kingdom of This World – Alejo Carpentier

546.               The Man With the Golden Arm – Nelson Algren

547.               Nineteen Eighty-Four – George Orwell

548.               All About H. Hatterr – G.V. Desani

549.               Disobedience – Alberto Moravia

550.               Death Sentence – Maurice Blanchot

551.               The Heart of the Matter – Graham Greene

552.               Cry, the Beloved Country – Alan Paton

553.               Doctor Faustus – Thomas Mann

554.               The Victim – Saul Bellow

555.               Exercises in Style – Raymond Queneau

556.               If This Is a Man – Primo Levi

557.               Under the Volcano – Malcolm Lowry

558.               The Path to the Nest of Spiders – Italo Calvino

559.               The Plague – Albert Camus

560.               Back – Henry Green

561.               Titus Groan – Mervyn Peake

562.               The Bridge on the Drina – Ivo Andri?

563.               Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh

564.               Animal Farm – George Orwell

565.               Cannery Row – John Steinbeck

566.               The Pursuit of Love – Nancy Mitford

567.               Loving – Henry Green

568.               Arcanum 17 – André Breton

569.               Christ Stopped at Eboli – Carlo Levi

570.               The Razor’s Edge – William Somerset Maugham

571.               Transit – Anna Seghers

572.               Ficciones – Jorge Luis Borges

573.               Dangling Man – Saul Bellow

574.               The Little Prince – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

575.               Caught – Henry Green

576.               The Glass Bead Game – Herman Hesse

577.               Embers – Sandor Marai

578.               Go Down, Moses – William Faulkner

579.               The Outsider – Albert Camus

580.               In Sicily – Elio Vittorini

581.               The Poor Mouth – Flann O’Brien

582.               The Living and the Dead – Patrick White

583.               Hangover Square – Patrick Hamilton

584.               Between the Acts – Virginia Woolf

585.               The Hamlet – William Faulkner

586.               Farewell My Lovely – Raymond Chandler

587.               For Whom the Bell Tolls – Ernest Hemingway

588.               Native Son – Richard Wright

589.               The Power and the Glory – Graham Greene

590.               The Tartar Steppe – Dino Buzzati

591.               Party Going – Henry Green

592.               The Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck

593.               Finnegans Wake – James Joyce

594.               At Swim-Two-Birds – Flann O’Brien

595.               Coming Up for Air – George Orwell

596.               Goodbye to Berlin – Christopher Isherwood

597.               Tropic of Capricorn – Henry Miller

598.               Good Morning, Midnight – Jean Rhys

599.               The Big Sleep – Raymond Chandler

600.               After the Death of Don Juan – Sylvie Townsend Warner

601.               Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day – Winifred Watson

602.               Nausea – Jean-Paul Sartre

603.               Rebecca – Daphne du Maurier

604.               Cause for Alarm – Eric Ambler

605.               Brighton Rock – Graham Greene

606.               U.S.A. – John Dos Passos

607.               Murphy – Samuel Beckett

608.               Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck

609.               Their Eyes Were Watching God – Zora Neale Hurston

610.               The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkien

611.               The Years – Virginia Woolf

612.               In Parenthesis – David Jones

613.               The Revenge for Love – Wyndham Lewis

614.               Out of Africa – Isak Dineson (Karen Blixen)

615.               To Have and Have Not – Ernest Hemingway

616.               Summer Will Show – Sylvia Townsend Warner

617.               Eyeless in Gaza – Aldous Huxley

618.               The Thinking Reed – Rebecca West

619.               Gone With the Wind – Margaret Mitchell

620.               Keep the Aspidistra Flying – George Orwell

621.               Wild Harbour – Ian MacPherson

622.               Absalom, Absalom! – William Faulkner

623.               At the Mountains of Madness – H.P. Lovecraft

624.               Nightwood – Djuna Barnes

625.               Independent People – Halldór Laxness

626.               Auto-da-Fé – Elias Canetti

627.               The Last of Mr. Norris – Christopher Isherwood

628.               They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? – Horace McCoy

629.               The House in Paris – Elizabeth Bowen

630.               England Made Me – Graham Greene

631.               Burmese Days – George Orwell

632.               The Nine Tailors – Dorothy L. Sayers

633.               Threepenny Novel – Bertolt Brecht

634.               Novel With Cocaine – M. Ageyev

635.               The Postman Always Rings Twice – James M. Cain

636.               Tropic of Cancer – Henry Miller

637.               A Handful of Dust – Evelyn Waugh

638.               Tender is the Night – F. Scott Fitzgerald

639.               Thank You, Jeeves – P.G. Wodehouse

640.               Call it Sleep – Henry Roth

641.               Miss Lonelyhearts – Nathanael West

642.               Murder Must Advertise – Dorothy L. Sayers

643.               The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas – Gertrude Stein

644.               Testament of Youth – Vera Brittain

645.               A Day Off – Storm Jameson

646.               The Man Without Qualities – Robert Musil

647.               A Scots Quair (Sunset Song) – Lewis Grassic Gibbon

648.               Journey to the End of the Night – Louis-Ferdinand Céline

649.               Brave New World – Aldous Huxley

650.               Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons

651.               To the North – Elizabeth Bowen

652.               The Thin Man – Dashiell Hammett

653.               The Radetzky March – Joseph Roth

654.               The Waves – Virginia Woolf

655.               The Glass Key – Dashiell Hammett

656.               Cakes and Ale – W. Somerset Maugham

657.               The Apes of God – Wyndham Lewis

658.               Her Privates We – Frederic Manning

659.               Vile Bodies – Evelyn Waugh

660.               The Maltese Falcon – Dashiell Hammett

661.               Hebdomeros – Giorgio de Chirico

662.               Passing – Nella Larsen

663.               A Farewell to Arms – Ernest Hemingway

664.               Red Harvest – Dashiell Hammett

665.               Living – Henry Green

666.               The Time of Indifference – Alberto Moravia

667.               All Quiet on the Western Front – Erich Maria Remarque

668.               Berlin Alexanderplatz – Alfred Döblin

669.               The Last September – Elizabeth Bowen

670.               Harriet Hume – Rebecca West

671.               The Sound and the Fury – William Faulkner

672.               Les Enfants Terribles – Jean Cocteau

673.               Look Homeward, Angel – Thomas Wolfe

674.               Story of the Eye – Georges Bataille

675.               Orlando – Virginia Woolf

676.               Lady Chatterley’s Lover – D.H. Lawrence

677.               The Well of Loneliness – Radclyffe Hall

678.               The Childermass – Wyndham Lewis

679.               Quartet – Jean Rhys

680.               Decline and Fall – Evelyn Waugh

681.               Quicksand – Nella Larsen

682.               Parade’s End – Ford Madox Ford

683.               Nadja – André Breton

684.               Steppenwolf – Herman Hesse

685.               Remembrance of Things Past – Marcel Proust

686.               To The Lighthouse – Virginia Woolf

687.               Tarka the Otter – Henry Williamson

688.               Amerika – Franz Kafka

689.               The Sun Also Rises – Ernest Hemingway

690.               Blindness – Henry Green

691.               The Castle – Franz Kafka

692.               The Good Soldier Švejk – Jaroslav Hašek

693.               The Plumed Serpent – D.H. Lawrence

694.               One, None and a Hundred Thousand – Luigi Pirandello

695.               The Murder of Roger Ackroyd – Agatha Christie

696.               The Making of Americans – Gertrude Stein

697.               Manhattan Transfer – John Dos Passos

698.               Mrs. Dalloway – Virginia Woolf

699.               The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald

700.               The Counterfeiters – André Gide

701.               The Trial – Franz Kafka

702.               The Artamonov Business – Maxim Gorky

703.               The Professor’s House – Willa Cather

704.               Billy Budd, Foretopman – Herman Melville

705.               The Green Hat – Michael Arlen

706.               The Magic Mountain – Thomas Mann

707.               We – Yevgeny Zamyatin

708.               A Passage to India – E.M. Forster

709.               The Devil in the Flesh – Raymond Radiguet

710.               Zeno’s Conscience – Italo Svevo

711.               Cane – Jean Toomer

712.               Antic Hay – Aldous Huxley

713.               Amok – Stefan Zweig

714.               The Garden Party – Katherine Mansfield

715.               The Enormous Room – E.E. Cummings

716.               Jacob’s Room – Virginia Woolf

717.               Siddhartha – Herman Hesse

718.               The Glimpses of the Moon – Edith Wharton

719.               Life and Death of Harriett Frean – May Sinclair

720.               The Last Days of Humanity – Karl Kraus

721.               Aaron’s Rod – D.H. Lawrence

722.               Babbitt – Sinclair Lewis

723.               Ulysses – James Joyce

724.               The Fox – D.H. Lawrence

725.               Crome Yellow – Aldous Huxley

726.               The Age of Innocence – Edith Wharton

727.               Main Street – Sinclair Lewis

728.               Women in Love – D.H. Lawrence

729.               Night and Day – Virginia Woolf

730.               Tarr – Wyndham Lewis

731.               The Return of the Soldier – Rebecca West

732.               The Shadow Line – Joseph Conrad

733.               Summer – Edith Wharton

734.               Growth of the Soil – Knut Hamsen

735.               Bunner Sisters – Edith Wharton

736.               A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man – James Joyce

737.               Under Fire – Henri Barbusse

738.               Rashomon – Akutagawa Ryunosuke

739.               The Good Soldier – Ford Madox Ford

740.               The Voyage Out – Virginia Woolf

741.               Of Human Bondage – William Somerset Maugham

742.               The Rainbow – D.H. Lawrence

743.               The Thirty-Nine Steps – John Buchan

744.               Kokoro – Natsume Soseki

745.               Locus Solus – Raymond Roussel

746.               Rosshalde – Herman Hesse

747.               Tarzan of the Apes – Edgar Rice Burroughs

748.               The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists – Robert Tressell

749.               Sons and Lovers – D.H. Lawrence

750.               Death in Venice – Thomas Mann

751.               The Charwoman’s Daughter – James Stephens

752.               Ethan Frome – Edith Wharton

753.               Fantômas – Marcel Allain and Pierre Souvestre

754.               Howards End – E.M. Forster

755.               Impressions of Africa – Raymond Roussel

756.               Three Lives – Gertrude Stein

757.               Martin Eden – Jack London

758.               Strait is the Gate – André Gide

759.               Tono-Bungay – H.G. Wells

760.               The Inferno – Henri Barbusse

761.               A Room With a View – E.M. Forster

762.               The Iron Heel – Jack London

763.               The Old Wives’ Tale – Arnold Bennett

764.               The House on the Borderland – William Hope Hodgson

765.               Mother – Maxim Gorky

766.               The Secret Agent – Joseph Conrad

767.               The Jungle – Upton Sinclair

768.               Young Törless – Robert Musil

769.               The Forsyte Sage – John Galsworthy

770.               The House of Mirth – Edith Wharton

771.               Professor Unrat – Heinrich Mann

772.               Where Angels Fear to Tread – E.M. Forster

773.               Nostromo – Joseph Conrad

774.               Hadrian the Seventh – Frederick Rolfe

775.               The Golden Bowl – Henry James

776.               The Ambassadors – Henry James

777.               The Riddle of the Sands – Erskine Childers

778.               The Immoralist – André Gide

779.               The Wings of the Dove – Henry James

780.               Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad

781.               The Hound of the Baskervilles – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

782.               Buddenbrooks – Thomas Mann

783.               Kim – Rudyard Kipling

784.               Sister Carrie – Theodore Dreiser

785.               Lord Jim – Joseph Conrad


786.               Some Experiences of an Irish R.M. – Somerville and Ross

787.               The Stechlin – Theodore Fontane

788.               The Awakening – Kate Chopin

789.               The Turn of the Screw – Henry James

790.               The War of the Worlds – H.G. Wells

791.               The Invisible Man – H.G. Wells

792.               What Maisie Knew – Henry James

793.               Fruits of the Earth – André Gide

794.               Dracula – Bram Stoker

795.               Quo Vadis – Henryk Sienkiewicz

796.               The Island of Dr. Moreau – H.G. Wells

797.               The Time Machine – H.G. Wells

798.               Effi Briest – Theodore Fontane

799.               Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy

800.               The Real Charlotte – Somerville and Ross

801.               The Yellow Wallpaper – Charlotte Perkins Gilman

802.               Born in Exile – George Gissing

803.               Diary of a Nobody – George & Weedon Grossmith

804.               The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

805.               News from Nowhere – William Morris

806.               New Grub Street – George Gissing

807.               Gösta Berling’s Saga – Selma Lagerlöf

808.               Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy

809.               The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde

810.               The Kreutzer Sonata – Leo Tolstoy

811.               La Bête Humaine – Émile Zola

812.               By the Open Sea – August Strindberg

813.               Hunger – Knut Hamsun

814.               The Master of Ballantrae – Robert Louis Stevenson

815.               Pierre and Jean – Guy de Maupassant

816.               Fortunata and Jacinta – Benito Pérez Galdés

817.               The People of Hemsö – August Strindberg

818.               The Woodlanders – Thomas Hardy

819.               She – H. Rider Haggard

820.               The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde – Robert Louis Stevenson

821.               The Mayor of Casterbridge – Thomas Hardy

822.               Kidnapped – Robert Louis Stevenson

823.               King Solomon’s Mines – H. Rider Haggard

824.               Germinal – Émile Zola

825.               The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain

826.               Bel-Ami – Guy de Maupassant

827.               Marius the Epicurean – Walter Pater

828.               Against the Grain – Joris-Karl Huysmans

829.               The Death of Ivan Ilyich – Leo Tolstoy

830.               A Woman’s Life – Guy de Maupassant

831.               Treasure Island – Robert Louis Stevenson

832.               The House by the Medlar Tree – Giovanni Verga

833.               The Portrait of a Lady – Henry James

834.               Bouvard and Pécuchet – Gustave Flaubert

835.               Ben-Hur – Lew Wallace

836.               Nana – Émile Zola

837.               The Brothers Karamazov – Fyodor Dostoevsky

838.               The Red Room – August Strindberg

839.               Return of the Native – Thomas Hardy

840.               Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy

841.               Drunkard – Émile Zola

842.               Virgin Soil – Ivan Turgenev

843.               Daniel Deronda – George Eliot

844.               The Hand of Ethelberta – Thomas Hardy

845.               The Temptation of Saint Anthony – Gustave Flaubert

846.               Far from the Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy

847.               The Enchanted Wanderer – Nicolai Leskov

848.               Around the World in Eighty Days – Jules Verne

849.               In a Glass Darkly – Sheridan Le Fanu

850.               The Devils – Fyodor Dostoevsky

851.               Erewhon – Samuel Butler

852.               Spring Torrents – Ivan Turgenev

853.               Middlemarch – George Eliot

854.               Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There – Lewis Carroll

855.               King Lear of the Steppes – Ivan Turgenev

856.               He Knew He Was Right – Anthony Trollope

857.               War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy

858.               Sentimental Education – Gustave Flaubert

859.               Phineas Finn – Anthony Trollope

860.               Maldoror – Comte de Lautréaumont

861.               The Idiot – Fyodor Dostoevsky

862.               The Moonstone – Wilkie Collins

863.               Little Women – Louisa May Alcott

864.               Thérèse Raquin – Émile Zola

865.               The Last Chronicle of Barset – Anthony Trollope

866.               Journey to the Centre of the Earth – Jules Verne

867.               Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoevsky

868.               Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll

869.               Our Mutual Friend – Charles Dickens

870.               Uncle Silas – Sheridan Le Fanu

871.               Notes from the Underground – Fyodor Dostoevsky

872.               The Water-Babies – Charles Kingsley

873.               Les Misérables – Victor Hugo

874.               Fathers and Sons – Ivan Turgenev

875.               Silas Marner – George Eliot

876.               Great Expectations – Charles Dickens

877.               On the Eve – Ivan Turgenev

878.               Castle Richmond – Anthony Trollope

879.               The Mill on the Floss – George Eliot

880.               The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins

881.               The Marble Faun – Nathaniel Hawthorne

882.               Max Havelaar – Multatuli

883.               A Tale of Two Cities – Charles Dickens

884.               Oblomovka – Ivan Goncharov

885.               Adam Bede – George Eliot

886.               Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert

887.               North and South – Elizabeth Gaskell

888.               Hard Times – Charles Dickens

889.               Walden – Henry David Thoreau

890.               Bleak House – Charles Dickens

891.               Villette – Charlotte Brontë

892.               Cranford – Elizabeth Gaskell

893.               Uncle Tom’s Cabin; or, Life Among the Lonely – Harriet Beecher Stowe

894.               The Blithedale Romance – Nathaniel Hawthorne

895.               The House of the Seven Gables – Nathaniel Hawthorne

896.               Moby-Dick – Herman Melville

897.               The Scarlet Letter – Nathaniel Hawthorne

898.               David Copperfield – Charles Dickens

899.               Shirley – Charlotte Brontë

900.               Mary Barton – Elizabeth Gaskell

901.               The Tenant of Wildfell Hall – Anne Brontë

902.               Wuthering Heights – Emily Brontë

903.               Agnes Grey – Anne Brontë

904.               Jane Eyre – Charlotte Brontë

905.               Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray

906.               The Count of Monte-Cristo – Alexandre Dumas

907.               La Reine Margot – Alexandre Dumas

908.               The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas

909.               The Purloined Letter – Edgar Allan Poe

910.               Martin Chuzzlewit – Charles Dickens

911.               The Pit and the Pendulum – Edgar Allan Poe

912.               Lost Illusions – Honoré de Balzac

913.               A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens

914.               Dead Souls – Nikolay Gogol

915.               The Charterhouse of Parma – Stendhal

916.               The Fall of the House of Usher – Edgar Allan Poe

917.               The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby – Charles Dickens

918.               Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens

919.               The Nose – Nikolay Gogol

920.               Le Père Goriot – Honoré de Balzac

921.               Eugénie Grandet – Honoré de Balzac

922.               The Hunchback of Notre Dame – Victor Hugo

923.               The Red and the Black – Stendhal

924.               The Betrothed – Alessandro Manzoni

925.               Last of the Mohicans – James Fenimore Cooper

926.               The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner – James Hogg

927.               The Albigenses – Charles Robert Maturin

928.               Melmoth the Wanderer – Charles Robert Maturin

929.               The Monastery – Sir Walter Scott

930.               Ivanhoe – Sir Walter Scott

931.               Frankenstein – Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

932.               Northanger Abbey – Jane Austen

933.               Persuasion – Jane Austen

934.               Ormond – Maria Edgeworth

935.               Rob Roy – Sir Walter Scott

936.               Emma – Jane Austen

937.               Mansfield Park – Jane Austen

938.               Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen

939.               The Absentee – Maria Edgeworth

940.               Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen

941.               Elective Affinities – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

942.               Castle Rackrent – Maria Edgeworth


943.               Hyperion – Friedrich Hölderlin

944.               The Nun – Denis Diderot

945.               Camilla – Fanny Burney

946.               The Monk – M.G. Lewis

947.               Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

948.               The Mysteries of Udolpho – Ann Radcliffe

949.               The Interesting Narrative – Olaudah Equiano

950.               The Adventures of Caleb Williams – William Godwin

951.               Justine – Marquis de Sade

952.               Vathek – William Beckford

953.               The 120 Days of Sodom – Marquis de Sade

954.               Cecilia – Fanny Burney

955.               Confessions – Jean-Jacques Rousseau

956.               Dangerous Liaisons – Pierre Choderlos de Laclos

957.               Reveries of a Solitary Walker – Jean-Jacques Rousseau

958.               Evelina – Fanny Burney

959.               The Sorrows of Young Werther – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

960.               Humphrey Clinker – Tobias George Smollett

961.               The Man of Feeling – Henry Mackenzie

962.               A Sentimental Journey – Laurence Sterne

963.               Tristram Shandy – Laurence Sterne

964.               The Vicar of Wakefield – Oliver Goldsmith

965.               The Castle of Otranto – Horace Walpole

966.               Émile; or, On Education – Jean-Jacques Rousseau

967.               Rameau’s Nephew – Denis Diderot

968.               Julie; or, the New Eloise – Jean-Jacques Rousseau

969.               Rasselas – Samuel Johnson

970.               Candide – Voltaire

971.               The Female Quixote – Charlotte Lennox

972.               Amelia – Henry Fielding

973.               Peregrine Pickle – Tobias George Smollett

974.               Fanny Hill – John Cleland

975.               Tom Jones – Henry Fielding

976.               Roderick Random – Tobias George Smollett

977.               Clarissa – Samuel Richardson

978.               Pamela – Samuel Richardson

979.               Jacques the Fatalist – Denis Diderot

980.               Memoirs of Martinus Scriblerus – J. Arbuthnot, J. Gay, T. Parnell, A. Pope, J. Swift

981.               Joseph Andrews – Henry Fielding

982.               A Modest Proposal – Jonathan Swift

983.               Gulliver’s Travels – Jonathan Swift

984.               Roxana – Daniel Defoe

985.               Moll Flanders – Daniel Defoe

986.               Love in Excess – Eliza Haywood

987.               Robinson Crusoe – Daniel Defoe

988.               A Tale of a Tub – Jonathan Swift


989.               Oroonoko – Aphra Behn

990.               The Princess of Clèves – Marie-Madelaine Pioche de Lavergne, Comtesse de La Fayette

991.               The Pilgrim’s Progress – John Bunyan

992.               Don Quixote – Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

993.               The Unfortunate Traveller – Thomas Nashe

994.               Euphues: The Anatomy of Wit – John Lyly

995.               Gargantua and Pantagruel – Françoise Rabelais

996.               The Thousand and One Nights – Anonymous

997.               The Golden Ass – Lucius Apuleius

998.               Aithiopika – Heliodorus

999.               Chaireas and Kallirhoe – Chariton

1000.           Metamorphoses – Ovid

  1. Aesop’s Fables – Aesopus 

    ***I have been informed that there are three versions of 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die with a total of 1294 novels.  Once I finish the 1001 that I have listed, I will carry on with the remaining 293, as well as any other updates that come about during this odyssey.


Filed under Project Information